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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington police say morale in the department has hit a new low. The majority of Wilmington police officers are not happy with their job. That’s according to an employee survey at WPD.

50% of WPD staff took a survey conducted by the department.

Nearly 85% said morale at WPD is low or very low and they say it’s worse now than it was in previous years.

“We’ve had a bad year,” Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said. “We’ve had a lot of violence in this community, and our people have been put in some very bad situations, and it’s been a tough year.”

Chief Evangelous says the stressful year has put a strain on officers. But results show pay and benefits are the biggest factors contributing to low morale.

75% said they either disagree or strongly disagree with the merit pay system.

“Pay is a huge issue,” Evangelous said. “It has been dragging down morale here in the organization for a period of time. We’re working almost daily with the city manager city council, mayor. They’re all committed to making something happen with the pay issue.”

While communication was a strong point in the survey with supervisors and co-workers, 70% said communication was the worst with command staff.

“Communication is always a struggle,” Evangelous added. “And accurate and timely communication is always a struggle, so we’re working on it and we can always to better.”

But many surveyed also found issues with fairness in assignment selection, promotions, performance evaluations and disciplinary practices.

Chief Evangelous says the department has been working on the promotional process but could not tell us much more.

“Those have to be drilled down into. There is no clear explanation what they were talking about, so we’re actually going to re-survey those questions,” Evangelous said.

North Carolina Police Benevolent Association Executive Director John Midgette says the survey leaves more questions than answers. He says his organization would be more than happy to help the Chief get more specifics.

Chief Evangelous says they will probably re-survey the department with more specific questions next fall. He says they will be rolling out a new virtual system very soon that will improve communications.

Comment on this Story

  • dc

    How many times have i heard that same line time and time again ,we are working hard to fix the problem,well it aint gona happen. and it is not just wpd it is any where you go. thouse men and women that put there life on the line every day should be paid higer than the police cheif all he does is set behind a desk.

  • jj

    The Sheriff might change, but the command staff always stays the same. The command Staff in mostly the problem.

  • guest 1234

    You’re just a troll. Anybody? Really? Are you saying that Causey would be better? You’re on crack “deputy”. That extremely pathetic has-been would take your department back 20 years! You seriously think you have issues now? Imagine that good old boy club coming back! Talk about the dark ages!

  • unaffiliated voter

    Asheville PD suffers from a bad choice in black police chiefs,,,this guy
    Anderson had bad records all over yet WHO did the lameass democrackkk City Council PICK??? Plus gave his wife AND son a city job too…he used to be in Greenville NC…sorry he’s in Asheville…we deserve much better.

  • eveready cop

    We are bored silly at the beach, nothing to do all winter and we are deputized to help out in the gang task force. The county can likely use us with a simple hourly accounting transfer from our budget.

  • Family ties

    Most of the long standing corruption reputation lies with the 2 family members who are/were Chief Superior Court Judge and Sheriff, William Allen Cobb and Sid Causey. Those 2 stir up more trouble, county and city lawsuits and ill-will than anyone else in this whole 5 county area. They keep everybody fighting. That’s how they stayed in power for 3 decades.

  • Deputy427

    If you think morale is low at WPD.. We will trade with you guys any day, anytime!!
    Here at the NHSO we have the most toxic evil staff to work for ever.

    We don’t care who you vote for just get rid of what we have here now!
    It’s terrible here!! Just ask any deputy and they will say just get these guys gone! We don’t care who beats them. Anybody would be better than what we have now!

  • Claskody

    Stall until fall, this is what Evangelous is saying.

  • This is the problem

    Survey after survey after survey. Enough with the effin surveys. This is pissing off your employes more then anything. You know the problems. You know the solutions. Fix them. How many surveys have wpd officers had to take in the last year and nothing happens. It all just stays the same. Honestly the reason for the low morale (IN GENERAL) is the city. Its not within the police department. You keep taking and screwing over the employees. And now they talk about a raise finally to get our pay 20% lower then where it should be but you are going to take away other things from employees like 401k. Thats like moving money from my savings to my checking. I still have the same amount of freaking money. And then on top of that the benifits are awful. 140 bucks a month for a single. Family youre above 400. Obamacare would be cheaper.

  • Big M

    All they are is a bunch of government Storm Troopers. Fire them all before they shoot another citizen.

  • really?

    Thats quite the exaggeration. Every week? Other then the k-9 incident that happened like 2 months ago I cant think of one. Maybe the prostitution thing like 2 years ago. Dont start spewing off at the mouth without facts.

    Go ahead and show me an example of every week. Go ahead… ill wait.

  • Guest Reply Redux

    1. Give up on the Ghost Hotel idea that will never be next to the Convention Center.
    2. Take the $100,000 lawyer fee set aside to defend said “Ghost Hotel” and turn it over to the WPD for employee benefits.
    3. Sell the Convention Center at a LOSS (as per usual), and take those funds and turn it over to the WPD for employee benefits.
    4. Turn the now…Old Convention Center…into a Beagle Farm sold for Huntin’ Dogs.
    Or….
    5. Turn the Convention Center into a hotel…then work on building another Convention Center in its place…this time using LEGO’s from the box.
    6. Sell the hotel, that was the Convention Center, for market price…turn it into a Mega Jail for the local Gang Bangers (without internet or hot dog cook-outs)…have City Council resign…then take the money from that sale and it give it back to the WPD of Wilmington for pay increases…and for putting up with all the crap Council has shoveled at them over the years.

    The End

  • Guest123

    Considering the amount of corruption, poor leadership in the department that seems to go unchanged,(Does a week go by we don’t hear about some of Wilmington’s finest involved in a crime, excessive force, scandal) I’m not surprised the majority of officers (who are honest, good people) have low moral working in such a place.

    Their name is getting sullied too.

  • jj

    I guess it is time to replace Chief Ralph Evangelous. I have never been impressed with him as chief and I think the survey shows that things are getting worst and not better under his command.

    I am also not happen with the lack of enforcement of the traffic laws in this town. Just drive on Carolina Beach Rd or Third Street and you would think you were on a NASCAR track.

    I will tell him like a told a Captain years ago. You can run your department with you sitting your A$$ behind a desk 8 hours a day.

  • Jen

    I know it’s not much in the way of fattening up your wallet, but just want to say WPD has the finest officers around! Great group of Men and Women!

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